What’s next for Ron Rivera?

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During Ron Rivera’s three years as defensive coordinator with the Chargers, Rivera gave Peyton Manning fits, beating him in the playoffs and inducing four interceptions during their final meeting in 2010. That was perhaps the best argument for Rivera becoming a head coach, and it finally happened for him in 2011.

Rivera has been a respected and stable presence in Carolina since then, twice winning the AP Coach of the Year award and taking the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 — where, coincidentally, Manning would have his revenge.

He exits with 54.6-percent victory rate and a trio of NFC South championships (during an era featuring competing quarterbacks like Matt Ryan and Drew Brees). He also should find a landing spot, sooner than later.

It’s never quite clear which coaches will immediately be re-hired (like Adam Gase) and which coaches won’t be (like Mike McCarthy), but Rivera should immediately enter the planning process for the various other teams that are planning to make a change, but that haven’t decided to cut the cord on the current coach while doing so.

In New York, the Giants surely have begun to consider the alternatives to Pat Shurmur. And to the extent that G.M. Dave Gettleman hopes to remain on the job, Gettleman should instantly start banging the drum internally for Rivera, since a reunion of the duo that put a Super Bowl team together could be Gettleman’s best bet at hanging around.

Other teams thinking about a potential upgrade should at least think about Rivera, from the Browns to the Jaguars to the Chargers to the Falcons. And teams that are or likely will be hiring new coaches — Washington and Dallas — should instantly put Rivera on the list.

The Falcons become a fascinating option. Rivera would stay in the division, with intimate knowledge of the Panthers, Saints, and Buccaneers, and with an Atlanta team that is built to win, but isn’t.

Regardless of how it plays out, both the Panthers and Rivera will get a head start on their next move. If the Panthers were going to fire him after the season, it makes much more sense for both sides to do it now.

73 responses to “What’s next for Ron Rivera?

  1. Rivera will land a head coaching job before long. The Browns should already be sending him a plane ticket. I figured he would be asked to move on but I can’t think of a logical replacement.

  2. “If the Panthers were going to fire him after the season it makes sense to do it now”… Last year Florio ripped Green Bay for firing McCarthy in early December…..

  3. The only benefit I could see from a mid-season termination during a season that is going nowhere is to get a head start on other teams. Then again, are there really any super-hot candidates out there right now other than that Oklahoma guy (who likely isn’t going to ditch his team prior to a bowl game anyway)?

  4. I feel like this is out of left field, no?

    Cam is hurt, they were not really poised to do anything huge this year….

    Just strange — I think the Riverboat Man is a great coach. Far better than some of the hot garbage the other 30 teams trot out there every Sunday

  5. Maybe it does make more sense to fire him now, I don’t know. But, to me, it just seems a bit heartless to fire someone from his job 3 weeks before Christmas.

  6. Rivera’s biggest problem was that he was saddled with one of the great coach killers of all time. If you’re not familiar, a coach killer is a guy that is too good to bench, but due to to issues, both tangible and intangible, will NEVER win.

    It’s a shame…Rivera covered for Cam so many times while he played like crap yet showed up to press conferences like he was going to the MET Gala. It was never about football with Cam and it’s his coach that has to pay for it.

  7. The Cowboys could do a heck of a lot worse. Same thing for the Giants, unfortunately for them, like who they have now.

  8. Does interviewing Rivera satisfy the Rooney Rule? He’s a good coach and appears to be a genuinely good human being, but I can see some owner(s) interviewing him just to check the box. A reunion with Gettleman — LOL. C’mon football gods, make it happen:)

  9. I like him. He’s always been a thorn in the side of my team (Patriots) on the rare occasions they played. He just needs a good OC and a stable, steady qb. He’s a fantastic DC. Better HC than half the coaches out there.

  10. This owner seems like he’s going to push too many buttons thinking that money equals football genius.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tepper follow this up with some “big splashes” a la Dan Snyder’s Bruce Smith-Deion Sanders Redskins.

    If you think the two Super Bowl appearances in 12 years was insufferable, just wait until you see what an actual bad organization looks like under a rash, meddlesome owner.

    Good luck, Panthers fans, I think you have a bad owner. At least he’s 62 years old so most of you will live through it.

  11. Best of luck to RR. Coaches coach and players play. Sometimes neither one does can a good job,just like you, some days are better than others. I used to look at football players as real men, now I see whinny azzed babies. Successful coaches are now judged on how well they can babysit these children and keep them under control. Old school football is gone and the me generation of players are ruining good coaches. It’s more important to show off then actually win games.

  12. In addition to the weekly power rankings, I’d love for PFT to do a coaches ranking 1-32 and let the commentariat have at it. Where would Rivera slot? I’d say mid-teens? It’s even debatable at #2, or for that matter- 32.

  13. Anthony Lynn has admitted he can’t put out the dumpster fire that is the LA Chargers. I can seriously see him moving on and the Bolts wanting to reunite with Rivera.

  14. He’s done that’s what’s next he should have been fired last year. Why do people insist on praising a guy who has shown he can’t win when winning is all that matters? Oh he’s such a good guy…Sure he’s a good guy but is he a GREAT Coach? NO HE’S NOT. He’s an average coach who happened to have one of the best quarterbacks in the league for years, but didn’t COACH THAT QUARTERBACK to greatness he simply rode him into the ground. They got completely and utterly embarrassed in that Superbowl and THAT’S FROM A LACK OF COACHING!! BYE TITANIC RON You won’t be missed

  15. ” to me, it just seems a bit heartless to fire someone from his job 3 weeks before Christmas.”

    Oh c’mon man, the guy has made millions and millions of dollars and now gets to spend his holidays home with his family fully enjoying them instead of working his rear end off during the NFL late season for the first time in years. He’s not somebody barely getting by week to week, paycheck to paycheck.

  16. The DC is the Giants problem – less so Shurmur. But as with McAdoo, the answer also is not written on the laminated play sheet. Jones has upside and is not a deer looking in the headlights like so many others.

    I think the Giants have drafted well and the trade for Beckham is one that will pay later. I’d give Pat one more year but they have to get rid of Bettcher.

  17. An MVP-winning first overall pick who goes to the Super Bowl is about as far as you can get from “coach killer,” but whatever, some Panthers fans will never be satisfied with Cam — the same ones who think “both sides” were the problem at the Nazi rally.

  18. This is a colossally stupid decision.The Panther’s problems are talent oriented. They have had a rash of injuries this year, on BOTH sides of the ball, and just changed their defensive scheme to a 3-4 after years in a base 4-3.Their players, particularly in the secondary, do not all fit the scheme. Their offensive line has been problematic for years. Their starting QB has been injured basically for the last two years. They do not have depth at receiver. These are problems that have been there, minus the defensive scheme, for a few years. These are issues that Rivera as a coach has little control over, because he does not draft or sign players. He can make recommendations, of course, but it is Hurney’s job as GM to give Rivera something to work with.

    I knew Tepper was itching to fire the guy, because he fancies himself as this results based bottom line kind of guy, but a simple numbers minded approach does not work the same way in football as it does in finance. Yes, yes, I know, wins and losses, but you simply look at those numbers and ignore what the person by himself is giving you, you’re missing a lot of information. Rivera IS a good coach. Rivera builds a good culture. Those two things are insanely hard to find in any sport, even pro football. And these problems that the Panthers have had this year are NOT Rivera’s fault. Yes, you work with what you have, but it’s Hurney’s job to draft at positions of need and sign good free agents. To some extent, Hurney did that (Gerald McCoy), to some extent he did not (Matt Kalil), and others are in between (Eric Reid). But this team needed another draft at least to get the defense fixed after the switch (Bradberry is an excellent tackler but fits as a zone corner, nto a man-to-man guy, Reid is good in the box but not in coverage, defensive end is a position of need) and Rivera never got that chance. Now whomever inherits the team will have to start with a half-finished product. Does Carolina just give up and go fire-sale? That’s where they’re at, since it doesn’t make sense to fire your coach if you want to keep his product and players and schemes around. It’s silly, because as much as we don’t want to use injuries as an excuse, these players will be coming back healthy and making a huge difference at their positions. And Carolina is closer to contention than it is drafting first overall on the football spectrum of success.

    At the very least, Tepper should have given Rivera to fully evaluate both him AND Cam to see if they were worth keeping. Now they either have to trade Newton and start over or give him to a new coach to try and see if he is finally healed. Not a recipe for success. The most important thing? There’s really no one out there who is a clear upgrade. Mike McCarthy might be your closest bet, and it’s necessarily clear that he’s an upgrade over Rivera.

    If you fire your coach and his phone starts ringing immediately, maybe that should tell you something, Tepper.

  19. I mean…this is written as if Rivera is getting another head coaching job tomorrow. It’s failing to see the landscape of the league as currently is.

    Who is going to hire a defensive minded coach is this era of offense? Everyone wants an offensive coach, they want the next young “genius”

  20. I think he’s extremely fascinating to the Falcons. If I had to guess, that’s my pick.

  21. Panthers owner is the opposite of Jerry Jones. Fires an accomplished but faltering head coach in season, to shake things up. Jerry Jones keeps a coach who hasn’t won anything because he says Garrett is their best chance. And since he is not a “yes” man, Jones would never hire him.

  22. Uhm, if you’re listening, Jerrah, I say you should hire Ron.
    Why you laughing?
    Yes, I am serious.
    Why? Because you deserve each other.

  23. Bears fans are not too impressed with Rivera’s supposed success against Manning. The one that mattered the most was the Super Bowl where Rivera provided Manning and Dungy the ultimate gift.

  24. Coach McCarthy isn’t coaching because he said he wouldn’t coach this year. He categorically stayed that the only job he would consider was the Jets job .. and he withdrew from consideration, most likely because he discovered what a cluster that organization is.

    The similarities to his firing and Rivera’s are uncanny.

  25. The man carried a 2nd string QB to a Super Bowl, he won’t be unemployed for long. Cincy would be a perfect fit but my bet is he ends up in Cleveland or Dallas.

  26. acmepackers says:
    December 3, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    Does interviewing Rivera satisfy the Rooney Rule? He’s a good coach and appears to be a genuinely good human being, but I can see some owner(s) interviewing him just to check the box. A reunion with Gettleman — LOL. C’mon football gods, make it happen:)

    – – – –

    Yes. Despite many fans thinking Tomlin is only a EEO/Rooney Rule hire, Ron Rivera was interviewed first and satisfied the Steeler’s obligation.

  27. Rivera had three winning seasons in 8 1/2+ years as head coach. Throw out that 15-1 season and he was an under .500 coach. Overrated head coach.

  28. First off, I am not a Panthers fan and have done no research whatsoever on their team. But a lot of people are complaining about their switch from a 4-3 base to a 3-4, and saying that they do not have the correct personnel to make that switch. My question is, why would they make that switch in the first place then? That seems like a boneheaded decision.

  29. There’s a difference between being a top tier defensive coordinator like Rivera and a good head coach.

    A man’s got to know his limitations.

  30. Im a Giants fan…..and this season isnt even over yet and Im likely getting one of Garrett or Rivera in 2020.

    No offense to those guys, but I want Rhule.

  31. The owner paid $2b for a team that will miss the playoffs for the second straight year. Not a shock. Kyle Allen’s ascent stalled out so now they have to wonder what to do at QB. Might be good to make a clean break with Cam if you’re bringing in a new coach.

  32. Mike McCarthy is the next coach of the Cowboys or Cleveland.
    Rivera will go to the Giants.
    Garrett will not get another head coaching gig in the NFL, but could go to the college ranks. He took superior talent and made it mediocre. Not a good calling card.

  33. Ron would fit in nicely at Cleveland in the AFCN. Smash mouth football and good defense.
    As a Ravens fan I’d hate to see the Browns get the right hire. But as a Ravens Fan, I know the Brown’s simply won’t.

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